15th Janaury 2014
By Elaine Murphy
Despite numerous price drops in recent years, Ireland is still one of
the most expensive countries in the world to buy medicine,
particularly prescription medication.
However, Healthwave, a new pharmacy based in Dundrum with an online channel, is set to disrupt
the Irish market significantly by providing medications, prescriptions
and over the counter (OTC), at a huge cost saving to the consumer.
“The cost of medication in Ireland has been multiples of those seen in
other European countries, most notably across the border in Northern
Ireland. The premise of Healthwave is to provide transparent pricing
and universal access to affordable medication in Ireland,” explains
Shane O’Sullivan, Pharmacist and CEO Healthwave.
“Pharmacies in Northern Ireland have been experiencing higher sales in
recent years due to the number of customers travelling from the
Republic to fulfil prescriptions at a fraction of the cost in the
North. Healthwave will save Irish customers money, and not just in
terms of petrol charges but with real savings on medicines. With
HealthPass, our prices are on par with the prices offered in Northern
Ireland pharmacies”, added O’Sullivan.
A 28 day supply of Atorvastatin (10mg), the generic cholesterol
medication, currently costs €10.42 in the Republic of Ireland compared
to just £5 or €5.99 in a pharmacy in Newry. HealthPass will provide
the same supply of Atorvastatin (10mg) for €4.95, a saving of over 50%
a month on the prescription.
HealthPass, the Healthwave subscription service with an annual fee of
€25, guarantees Irish consumers the best pricing for medication in
“The HealthPass scheme is the first of its kind in Ireland, and it is
modelled on systems currently in place in pharmacies across the US. By
using HealthPass you can monitor your health, renew prescriptions and
save money, it’s a progressive new system for pharmacies and we are
excited to share it with our customers”, he added.
Other pharmacies in Ireland have reduced the mark up on medications,
including generic medicines. However only the HealthPass service
ensures that consumers pay the lowest price, by passing on all of the
discount on drug prices, in some cases resulting in a saving of more
than 50% which can generate over €250 in total savings a year per
For example, a Drug Payment Scheme (DPS) user who suffers from Chronic
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) usually pays €144 at the
pharmacy, the government then subsidises the remainder of the total
fee, which is an additional €19.46. Under the HealthPass service, the
customer will now pay only €100 per month, a personal saving of €44
and a state saving of €19.46.
Providing a nationwide service, through www.healthwave.ie, customers
throughout Ireland can avail of the fantastic HealthPass discounts and
even email prescriptions through to the Healthwave team for pricing.
As well as HealthPass, Healthwave pharmacy will also have an app
(HealthwaveHQ), coming on stream in February, including a pill
reminder alert, barcode price scan, prescription re-order, and access
to the online Healthwave shop. The store also includes several options
for “quantified self” wearables, which is the big trend for 2014,
enabling customers to record and analyse calorie consumption and
energy used, heart and blood pressure monitoring, weight monitor and
all other vital stats.
Following recent government policy, pharmacists are obliged to
substitute a prescribed medicine for a generic alternative for those
on medical cards. Widespread generic substitution is taking place in
pharmacies here, for all patients, but the mark up on generics here is
often 3 and 4 times the value of the medication in other countries.
Selling predominantly generic medication, Healthwave not only promises
to provide the best value medication, but their team of qualified and
experienced pharmacists are on hand to provide assistance and support
to consumers with any questions or health concerns. The Healthwave
flagship store is now open in Dundrum, it has a full pharmacy, health
foods, health screening area and a wide range of health & wellness